Grand Tour of South America with Quito and Galapagos Islands Cruise (Luxury Gold - Summer 2018)

28 days
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4.6/5 Excellent
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Group Tour
Witness the many cultures and contrasts of South America as Luxury Gold opens your eyes to a dazzling array of natural beauty, vibrant civilisations, and mystical ancient cities. In Rio de Janeiro, dine at the Michelin-starred Mee Restaurant, where Executive Chef Kazuo Harada will take you on a journey of the most sophisticated pan-Asian cuisine Meet Nilda Ca...


Trip type
Group Tour
Lodging level
Luxury - 5 star
Physical level
Trip pace
Balanced schedule


    • Cusco: Sunday market in Chinchero, truly authentic and local. Visit the Salt Pans of Maras and learn about the ancient economy of the Inca empire revolving around caring for terraced salt pools.
    • Lake Titicaca: Stand on the floating islands of Uros and hear about the day to day struggle just to stay afloat on top of Lake Titicaca from family members who know no other way of life.
    • Kingston Family Winery: Be immersed in the cool climate wine culture that has made Chile famous.
    • Buenos Aires: Stand on the wide open Pampas of Argentina and along side the gaucho's cowboy lifestyle of the past.
    • Rio de Janeiro: Walk along white sand beaches humming the famous songs they are known for....Copacabana and Ipanema
    • Buenos Aires: Distinguishable by its architecture and décor, the Alvear Palace Hotel is a hallmark of world class hotels.
    • Cusco: The stylishly decorated and luxurious JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is built atop ancient Incan ruins.
    • Iguassu: The luxurious Belmond das Cataratas is the only hotel inside the National Park and sits alongside the falls.
    • Lake Titicaca: Enjoy the sunsets on the lake from the only five-star hotel region, the Libertador.
    • Lima: Explore the very best of Peru's capital city at the JW Marriott Hotel Lima.

What's this trip about?

    Witness the many cultures and contrasts of South America as Luxury Gold opens your eyes to a dazzling array of natural beauty, vibrant civilisations, and mystical ancient cities. In Rio de Janeiro, dine at the Michelin-starred Mee Restaurant, where Executive Chef Kazuo Harada will take you on a journey of the most sophisticated pan-Asian cuisine Meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, an expert in traditional weaving, to learn how the TreadRight Foundation is helping protect this ancient skill Set at the base of Ch'iqun Mountain and overlooking the Vilcanota River, the elegant Tambo del Inka hotel is a five-star retreat, designed in harmony with its exotic surroundings


Itinerary focusClassic Highlights
Group sizeIntimate group - 12 max
Age rangeNo age restrictions
Flights and transportAll internal ground transport included
Start CityQuito
End CityRio De Janeiro

Travel Themes

  • 50 plus
  • Cultural


  • South America
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Peru


  • Quito
  • Rio de Janeiro


  • Culture

Trip includes

    • Be escorted by the crème de la crème of Insight Travelling Concierges - handpicked for every departure. This skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
    • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 guest coach, with extended leg room and an on-board restroom. It's Business Class comfort, complete with complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy during your luxury coaching tour.
    • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
    • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling with prompt delivery right to your door.
    • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels
    • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
    • With Insight Flourishes, from time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
    • Included airport transfers on first and last itinerary day.

Popular Trips


Day 1: Arrive in Quito.

Welcome to Ecuador. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: Quito Sightseeing.

(Relaxed Start) A drive north will take you to the Monument to the Equator. Here, you can experience the rare opportunity of standing in the Northern and Southern hemispheres simultaneously. Next, visit the Ethnographical Museum, which presents the history of the cult...

Day 3: Fly to the Galapagos Islands.

In the morning, fly to Baltra, in the Galapagos Islands, where you will be met and transferred to the Itabaca Channel. A ferry will take you across the channel to Santa Cruz Island, where you then head for the highlands to learn about the island’s ecosystems and biodi...

Day 4: Observe the fascinating wildlife.

In the morning, a panga (dinghy) will ferry you to Eden Islet to observe Blue footed boobies, reef sharks and frigates. There will be a chance to snorkel and, if weather conditions permit, ride in a glass-bottom boat to see the tiny island of Sombrero Chino. Upon return to Eden Islet, explore the beautiful surrounds and wildlife as you wander the 1,312-foot-long (400 metres) trail.

Day 5: Bartolomé Island, Pinnacle Rock and Sullivan Bay.

In the morning, the Galapagos icon of Bartolomé Island awaits. Ascend a wooden staircase for spectacular views from the top before boarding a panga cruise around the colossal Pinnacle Rock. After lunch, the panga will take you to Sullivan Bay, a white, coral-sand beac...

Day 6: Explore Genovesa Island.

Begin your day with an easy stroll to observe marine and land birds, with options available for all travellers. In the afternoon, there is a panga ride alongside the cliffs before disembarking for a captivating walk to observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, Frigatebirds, storm petrels, and the elusive short-eared owl.

Day 7: Onward to Lima.

Return to Baltra Island to disembark and be transferred to Baltra Airport for your flight to Lima, Peru. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. (FB) Anticipated arrival time in Lima is 22:00.

Day 8: Lima 'City of the Kings'.

(Relaxed Start) Experience Lima through the eyes of a Local Expert as you explore the UNESCO-listed, Historic Centre of Lima. Step onto the colonial balconies, with private-access, at the Archbishop's house. Your Highlight Lunch is at Amoramar in the bohemian district...

Day 9: Lima and On To The Sacred Valley.

Board your flight to Cusco before continuing to Peru's Sacred Valley. Meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, a Quechua scholar, and president of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. Enjoy lunch with Nilda and learn about her mission to preserve traditional weaving techniques.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)

Day 10: Exploring the Sacred Valley.

(Relaxed Start) In the morning, head to the town of Maras to meet with a local family and learn about the arts and crafts of the region. View the spectacular terraced salt pans dating back to Inca times. Experience a typical caja china lunch, cooked in a wooden box, b...

Day 11: Journey to Machu Picchu.

Visit the town of Ollantaytambo, a national archeological site. Settle into the Vistadome train for your scenic journey to Machu Picchu, before enjoying an included lunch upon arrival at your resort. Venture along nature trails with a Local Expert, through the fascina...

Day 12: Mysterious Machu Picchu.

The entire day is yours to discover the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu with your Local Expert.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)

Day 13: Return to Cusco.

(Relaxed Start) Return by train to Sacred Valley for a Highlight Lunch of traditional Peruvian meal cooked underground. Later, get up-close to llamas, alpacas and even the rare vicuñas, before arriving at your hotel.(Full Breakfast / Lunch)

Day 14: Colonial Cusco.

(Relaxed Start) Join your Local Expert to explore the Temple of the Sun at Korikancha and cathedral, followed by the citadel of Sacsayhuaman. Set out for San Blas to visit a candle shop and learn about its importance to the locals. Later, a candlelit Highlight Dinner with wine is served at the reputed MAP restaurant.(Full Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 15: Lake Region of Peru.

Board your included flight to Juliaca and continue to Puno, along the shores of Lake Titicaca. Your lakeside hotel is on Esteves Island.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)

Day 16: The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca.

(Relaxed Start) Cruise Lake Titicaca to the floating islands of Uros before continuing to the island of Amantaní to enjoy lunch hosted by the local community.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)

Day 17: Puno, Back to Lima.

Head to Sillustani on the shores of Lake Umayo to explore the burial grounds, before your flight to Lima. At night, savour a sensational Highlight Dinner with wine at world-renowned Astrid y Gastón.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)

Day 18: Fly to Santiago.

Bid farewell to Lima as you fly to Santiago. In the evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner with wine in nearby Lastarria, Santiago's trendiest neighbourhood.(Full Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 19: The Sights of Santiago, Valparaiso and Wine Country.

(Relaxed Start) Meet a Local Expert for a city tour before a visit to the UNESCO-listed port of Valparaíso and the boutique Kingston Family Winery in the Casablanca Valley for a tasting.(Full Breakfast)

Day 20: Fly to Buenos Aires.

(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a leisurely morning before flying to Buenos Aires. In the evening, your Highlight Dinner with wine is at Piegari Carnes, known for its Argentine beef.(Full Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 21: Beautiful Buenos Aires.

(Relaxed Start) Get to know Buenos Aires with a Local Expert on a tour including Palermo, San Telmo and Recoleta. Enjoy views of the balcony, made famous by Evita Peron, and walk the colourful neighbourhood of La Boca. Visit the Belle Époque Teatro Colon. Enjoy a Highlight Dinner with wine, live music, singers and dancers at Rojo Tango.(Full Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 22: Pampas, Estancias and Gauchos.

(Relaxed Start) Step into a world of riding boots and leather chaps at an Estancia, where you will be served a delicious asado Highlight Lunch with wine and a taste of the life of an Argentinian gaucho, or cowboy.(Full Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)

Day 23: The Falls of Iguassu.

Fly to Iguassu Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the great natural wonders of the world. Your Local Expert will take you to meet a tribal representative of the indigenous Guarani people. Your luxurious resort is the only hotel inside the Brazilian Iguassu National Park. Enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel in the evening.(Continental Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 24: The 'Great Waters' of Iguassu Falls.

(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert for a walk on the Brazilian side of the falls, see the panoramic view of San Martin Island and visit the Bird Park. Perhaps soar over Iguassu Falls on a helicopter ride?(Full Breakfast)

Day 25: Rio de Janeiro, City of Sea and Samba.

Today, fly to vibrant Rio de Janeiro. Transfer to your hotel located on famous Copacabana Beach where your evening is free.(Full Breakfast)

Day 26: Exploring Rio de Janeiro.

(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert on a cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. At Confeitaria Colombo, enjoy a Highlight Lunch with wine amid a lavish setting. In the afternoon, visit one of Rio's favelas before a stop at The Maze, an iconic jazz club. In the ev...

Day 27: A Farewell to Rio de Janeiro.

Join your Local Expert on a train ride up Corcovado Hill to Christ the Redeemer, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the evening, toast your journey over a Farewell Celebration Dinner with wine, at Michelin starred restaurant MeE.(Full Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 28: Depart Rio de Janeiro.

(Relaxed Start) A private transfer will take you to the Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport.(Full Breakfast)

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Dates & Availability

Price From $17,829
Price per day$637
Last Updated: 7/29/2021

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Insight Vacations.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Insight Vacations Reviews & Ratings

4.6/5  Excellent
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Insight Vacations

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As the global leader in premium tours, Insight Vacations delivers all the sights and insights of destinations up close and personal. Each tour is crafted in true comfort and style with premium 5 and 4 star hotels, small groups and customized coaches with extra leg room. The brand’s category leading dining options including the unique dine-around and dine-at-home experiences means that guests enjoy a culinary journey through the places they visit. An extensive Vegetarian option across all tour series further compliments the elevated dining offering. With a Make Travel Matter Experience®, that creates a positive impact for both the visitor and visited, plus also supports the United Nations sustainable Development Goals, included on each and every trip, Insight Vacations leads the way in immersive responsible travel.

Insight Vacations is part of the family-owned and run The Travel Corporation (TTC), driven by service for over one hundred years.

Why we love this operator
They really care about everyone's individual needs on each tour and they have an incredible attention to detail.
What they’re known for
Premium worldwide tours for curious travelers who want to get closer to the destination in comfort and style.


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